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Poltergeist (SE)
BLU-RAY disk
11.21.2008 By: Sturdy
Poltergeist (SE) order
Director:
Tobe Hooper

Actors:
JoBeth Williams
Craig T. Nelson
Beatrice Straight

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A strange force enters into a house and kidnaps a family’s little girl. Confronted with a unknown and powerful force, the family turns to a group of experts that assists them in getting their daughter back.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
I have to admit that the first time I saw POLTERGEIST was when I watched it on Blu-ray for this review. I find that this is a common film that people associate with their childhood as giving them nightmares. I was way too scared to watch this as a little kid and as I grew up, I just forgot about it. When I sat down to watch it, I wasn’t expecting much given it’s 80’s feel, but I’m pleased to say I was pleasantly surprised with the classic film.

If you’re like me and you haven’t seen it before, let it be known that the special effects leave a lot to be desired, at least in the beginning. What was strange with the effects is there was one scene (where the “monster” comes out from the door and the mom falls down the stairs) that was very well done, while the others looked like I filmed them in my bedroom. I think they would have been better served keeping the effects simple and raising the quality a bit.

The film reminded me a lot of other 80’s Spielberg-produced films like GREMLINS and GOONIES in that it combined some good characters and funny moments around a good story. The difference is that this film is a little more scary then the others, but in a good way. Of course, the standards for scary these days are pretty high and I’d be surprised if even the younger audiences lose any sleep from this one.

The performances in POLTERGEIST are a little mixed. The children do an absolute fantastic job (which makes their tragic stories even more sad), but the adults go a little over the top with their parts. I wanted more intensity from teh parents, especially given that their little girl is trapped in a house. Everyone seemed to accept the situation a little too easily, but maybe that was the point.
THE EXTRAS
Science of the Spirits (15:31): I think most sci-fi channel shows have covered this stuff before and with so many movie clips, there’s not much of substance here. They speak in generic terms and don’t relate any of the information back to the film. Overall, it’s pretty worthless.

Communicating with the Dead (15:33): This one deals more with actual poltergeists, but it still has all the same problems as the first featurette. Again, this one is pretty worthless.

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FINAL DIAGNOSIS
POLTERGEIST is a fun 80’s movie, even if it doesn’t provide the same kind of scares that it used to. If you haven’t seen it since you were a little kid, you might want to give it a second shot. Hopefully you won’t have to cover your eyes this time.
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